Hamlet

Hamlet is such a wonderful character because of his complex and conflicted nature. Calling him simply one thing, or trying to reduce him to a specific type is a very difficult thing to do. The best that can be done to minimize Hamlet into a simple category is to seek for a common thread that combines his many natures. In contemplating his interactions with Ophelia, Horatio, Gertrude, Polonius and Claudius it becomes apparent that Hamlet is truly little more than a spoiled royal baby that is in need of rationality and self control. He is appears to be the possessor of a multitude of emotional gifts, but the master of none.One word that I would use to describe Hamlet is impetuous. Hamlet seems to react to almost every situation in a most abstract and emotional manner. His first visit from his father fills him with anger and fear, but also doubt. He wants to immediately avenge the unjust death of his father, but is all the while conflicted by doubts about the veracity of information from the ghost. He wants to do what the ghost suggests. He wants to honor his father and bring vengeance down upon Claudius like a wrecking ball, and yet he doubts. He seethes. He rages. All of these actions are the actions of a self-indulgent royal. Hamlet was a ditherer. True, many of these traits are little more than devices used to heighten the drama of the story. But Hamlet’s overly emotional response to nearly every situation paints the portrait of an individual that is used to things going as he deemed, not as a person that was capable of overcoming adversity in a heroic manner. Hamlet would have done well to have a strong dose of cunning guile given to him by his Uncle Claudius. We see that Claudius is a complete cad. He is a wretched, self-serving individual. Yet he had purpose, he had ambition and drive and would have lived out his life in royal splendor at Ellsinore had the dead not arisen to inform Hamlet of the circumstances surrounding his father’s death. Only once, does Hamlet display this sort of twisted courage. In dispatching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet displayed the ability to cut through his overly emotional nature and make a quick decision on how to handle the two spies. Not only does his solution preserve his own life, but also it gives him the perfect cover to attempt a return to Ellsinore to avenge his father’s death. Hamlet’s dithering and emotional tendencies also wrecked his relationship with Ophelia. One ounce of courage and rationality could have set things straight between them. But Hamlet was anything but an individual that wanted to set things straight between another individual. He preferred to obsess on his own emotions a perceived slights. Bursting into her room in a fit of madness is enough to set any girl on edge. Hamlet seems to feel that he lives in some sort of vacuum and that his actions do not impact those around him. This is in some ways, typical of immature royalty that is used to speaking what they want in front of other humans called servants, without even recognizing them as being there or being human. Hamlet’s inability or unwillingness to share the true emotions of his hear with the woman he loved shows his proud and emotionally unstable nature. True, he is in turmoil because his father’s ghost is crying for vengeance against the man that has married his mother, but breaking into Ophelia’s room and then leaving after proclaiming there would be no more marriages and that she should go live in a nunnery was a selfish thing to do. No wonder Ophelia goes crazy. If she had to deal with a person so incredible self-centered as Hamlet, she surely would have been pushed over the edge sooner or later. Hamlet is an interesting character because of his complexity. He is placed in many stressful situations where thinking rationally would be helpful. Unfortunately, rationality is not Hamlet’s strong suit. As a character, he is fun to read about and even better to see preformed on stage. Hamlet’s character would be even more interesting if he was less emotional about